Monday, October 18, 2010
They Used to Call Me Quick Draw Till Boots
After hearing on the weather channel that there was "a dusting" in the upper peninsula, I figured I'd better get back and finish my drawing of my Snow Boots. As much as I dislike the idea of wearing them,if you-know-what falls in my backyard, I might have to put them on and ruin my still life set up. I'd never be able to get the laces in the exact same position.
Some drawings take a minute or two to complete, others take days. Snow Boots is the later. What you see here is an hour and twenty minutes spent yesterday. Then there was the initial drawing a couple of weeks ago. And tomorrow there will be more time put into this as I finish this shoe and move over to the next.
A detailed drawing is time consuming,a sketch isn't. Most of the drawings I've done for this blog are indeed sketches,done very quickly--twenty minutes or less, a half hour to an hour was a lot. The Birmingham Theater is an excellent example of a dash off. I put my pen down on the paper and let it go. The street scene was drawn "automatically." The details didn't have to be explicit, only suggestions. They didn't count--I was drawing the action on the street, not what the lamp posts looked like. Tuna Bowl was a fifteen minute sketch of light, shadow, reflection, recorded simply with no details to dwell upon. Boots has details and is being drawn close and personal. Those boots with those laces and that lighting require slow and steady deliberation.
In the drawing gallery at the museum, there's both short term sketches and long term drawings. I love the drawing gallery. There's always a new exhibit. They rotate the drawings often, so don't plan to see what you loved last time the next time you visit. They rotate the drawings often, because exposure to light--just artificial light mind you--has a drying effect on the papers. Constant rotation keeps the museum's collection safe. The fragility of the works and the fact your favorites might not be seen again for years, is what makes this gallery so special and a place to visit often.
Yet,there's very few visitors. I can always get front row to see the artist's handiwork with pencil or pen, sometimes enhanced with washes. It's my guess the public thinks less of drawings (or not at all) and more of paintings so passes the little gallery by on their way to see the big stuff. That's surprises to me. There's not a painting or a sculpture in that museum that didn't begin with a drawing or twenty done fast and slow before hitting the canvas or the block of stone. Drawing is where concepts are explored and developed. Drawing is where art begins.